Upon my (solemn) oath!

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Memories, Personal
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When you decide to do your bit to support the local economy by having a beer at a nearby microbrewery, you don’t expect to end up in an industrial park!  When I agreed to meet Bill, I figured it would be easy.  But when I got to the end of the street, I hadn’t spotted the brewery and it took Bill’s call to direct me back behind the line of buildings to Solemn Oath Brewery, one of Naperville’s growing attractions.


The taproom, part of the brewery itself, is small, has no televisions and serves nothing but excellent, innovative beer.  You can bring your own food or order pizza to be delivered.  The top-heavy stools are fixed to the floor and if you want to tip the bartenders, you buy them a beer.  Don’t expect the bartender to chug the beer in front of you, however.  The price of the beer goes on your credit card (no cash) and into the shared tips.

When it comes time to choose your beer, you’ll have plenty choices!  Today we started with Big Pern.  The bourbon barrels are sourced from companies such as Jack Daniels and whatever bourbon is still in the cask and in the wood imparts its taste to the beer.  After one use, the barrel is reused in some way, with people on a waiting list to buy one.  There have been beers aged in wine barrels as well.  Tasty!  Next, we tried Combat Marshmallow.  Love the names.  After three beers, you’re cut off.  That avoids people getting sloppy drunk and aids in turnover in a space that doesn’t have much room.


If you’re not sure what to have, you can purchase a four-glass flight, which is what I did the first time.  At four ounces a pour, you’ll still have plenty delicious beer.  Beers are rotated periodically so you’re never sure what you’ll find when you visit (unless you check their website first.)  It’s part of the charm.


Look to your left and you’ll see the brewery itself.  Today we had our own Yellowstone bubbling mud pots of yeasty overflow from the vats. Periods of quiescence were followed by pops and foam that overflowed onto the floor and toward the drains.  Glad I’m not cleaning those floors!



Solemn Oath can’t keep up with all the demands for its beer and although they may re-do their bar space, there are no plans to expand. Part of the schtick is the ambiance of the places, although a few more barrel tables or a shelf around the walls for resting glasses wouldn’t come amiss.  They’re beginning to offer a beer or two each month in the bottle or you can buy growlers.  (The S.O.B. of course stands for Solemn Oath Brewery.  What were you thinking??)


Oh, yes.   If you want to buy a beer for an absent friend, you can.  Pay for the beer and give your SO bartender the information and your purchase is entered on the chalkboard.  Your friend can come in any time, show ID and claim her prize.  She’ll thank you.  On my oath, going local is a great thing.


  1. M. R. says:

    Sounds like super fun, Janet! – what a delightful concept. And how nice that you’re back with Bill. I don’t suppose he missed you at all … 😉

  2. That does sound like a fun place!

  3. Sounds fun and intriguing. My friends would have to go somewhere else to get more to drink after only three beers. 🙂

  4. I love drinking beer out of a brandy snifter. And I adore microbreweries. They are true artists. This looks like a wonderful place to hang for an hour or so. Especially if there’s a pizza place close by that delivers. 🙂

    • That beer was the bourbon barrel aged one, so it went well in the snifter. I’m sure there’s a pizza place nearby but I’m planning to make and take popcorn next time!